Jul 252013


THIS is a press release from the Orange Democrats

In Ken Lenz’s published remarks from his speech in April, 2012 accepting the Democratic Party nomination for first selectman he stated he would seek economic development and investment in the town’s industrial zone from regional, national and international sources so as to increase the town’s tax base and reduce homeowners’ tax burden.

In response, at the Orange Republicans’ Caucus earlier in July the incumbent First Selectman stated that while Kenneth Lenz, his Democratic opponent, was talking about “going overseas to search for economic development,”  he is “pursuing a number of realistic projects” with developers from Texas and New Jersey.   If the incumbent’s comment was meant to imply that seeking economic development outside of the United States is not realistic, he should be reminded that many of the largest businesses ever located in Orange are or were from overseas companies,  Bayer (Germany), Saab-Scania (Sweden), Stop & Shop Supermarkets—Ahold (Netherlands) and Pez (Austria), to name a few.

However, the fact is that more than $2.7 Trillion of foreign investments are made within the United States, more foreign investments in fact than in any other country in the world.  (Source: “CIA – The World Factbook” at Cia.gov. last updated July 10, 2013.)

Robust Economic Development is one of the main campaign platforms Lenz has announced for the Orange Democrats that will be discussed in public and debated with the incumbent.  It matters little whether that economic development comes from across the street or from foreign investors.   What does matter is that the town’s chief executive makes himself and the town open to such opportunities from potential developers by consistently being in his office in Town Hall, and following up on phone contacts by interested developers and businesses.

In order to spur economic development what is needed is not campaign rhetoric about contacts with potential developers; what is needed is a sustained, knowledgeable focus on economic development, and marshaling all available resources from local, state and federal economic programs to encourage it.

As the nation’s economy begins to gradually improve as the 2008 recession abates, it is the ideal time to seize the opportunity to encourage development of Orange’s industrial area.

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